17-Mile Drive a cyclist’s dream

After a few rounds of golf at Spyglass, nothing beats a bike ride on 17-Mile Drive.

After a few rounds of golf at Spyglass, nothing beats a bike ride on 17-Mile Drive.


You haven’t lived in California until you’ve ridden on 17-Mile Drive along the Pacific Coast between Carmel and Pacific Grove.

That applies to car and bicycle, as well as golf cart. I rode part of it along the coast as well as the less traveled upper 17-Mile Drive.

The upper drive winds through tall stands of pine trees mixed with houses perched on hillsides with ocean views. It’s a stiff climb for a couple of miles, although a cyclist riding a fixed gear and lugging a surfboard seemed to be doing just fine as I struggled to hold his wheel.

The ride down to the ocean goes swiftly on Ronda Drive. About the only cyclists who take this route are those who get lost, myself included.

Once back on the ocean drive it’s a flat ride passing famous golf holes to one side and the roiling ocean on the other, assuming it’s after a storm moves through.

It’s best to ride here on a spring weekday, as opposed to a weekend in the summer when the coast is socked in with dense fog and there’s lots of traffic.

Another little known fact about this area, the hills in Pacific Grove/Monterey rival anything you’ll find in San Francisco. Stay away from Prescott Avenue and nearby streets going north-south, unless you enjoy really steep grades.

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